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Broyhill Inn’s Chef Bill Morris cooks an award-winning meal at Fire on the Rock Challenge

chef_bill_t.jpgBOONE—Bill Morris, the executive chef at Appalachian State University’s Broyhill Inn and Conference Center, was one of three chefs winning the Fire on the Rock Chef’s Challenge on April 14.

The event, held in conjunction with the Blue Ridge Wine Festival, took place at the Mariam and Robert Hayes Performing Arts Center.

Morris was assisted by executive sous chef Danny Bock and line cook Matt Slezak. They scored 419 out of a possible 450 points in the competition which was judged by a panel of three judges.

Each chef was given a main ingredient and had two minutes to develop a meal selection highlighting that ingredient. They then had five minutes to gather additional ingredients and 30 minutes to prepare the meal. The teams were judged upon the basis of nutritional content, presentation, creativity, utilization for the provided ingredients and good sanitation practices.

Morris’ main ingredient was catfish. The winning meal consisted of poached catfish Provencal-styled soup, salad with grilled catfish wrapped in collard greens, followed by a main entrée of catfish pinwheel fillets with cheese and vegetables inside, topped with a red pepper cream sauce. Cheese-filled tomato poppers were served on the side.

“I have cooked a lot of catfish so I felt good about that,” said Morris. “Matt handled the soup, Danny prepared the salad and I did the pinwheels. We happened to be in the zone, and it worked out great. We were very pleased with the point total.”

“We are pleased that our culinary staff has been recognized among the best in the High Country,” said Broyhill Inn general manager Doug Uzelac. “People don’t typically go out to dinner at a hotel restaurant. We hope this makes people aware of the Jackson Dining Room as a stand-alone restaurant with great food.”

For information about the Broyhill Inn or Jackson Dining Room, call (800) 951-6048 or visit

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